BBC may cut digital and radio services after 2012
The BBC may cut digital and radio services after the analogue switch-off in 2012, according to the director general, Mark Thompson.
[…] Mr Thompson said that the future of BBC’s operations would have to include “reductions in some kinds of programmes and content" and an examination of the scope of its websites.
He also suggested a higher proportion of the licence fee would be spent on original British content as opposed to expensive imports.
In a speech to the Voice of the Listener and Viewer conference, Mr Thompson said that the BBC needed to lay out “new boundaries”.
He said: “Expect to see reductions in some kinds of programmes and content – a look for example at the current scope of our website – and a close examination of the future of our service portfolios once switchover has been achieved”.
Earlier this month, Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said the public broadcaster could be dramatically slimmed down under a Tory government.
Mr Hunt expressed scepticism about the value of the niche television channels BBC Three and BBC Four, (costing £114m and £71m) as well as digital radio stations such as 1Xtra, 6 Music and Radio 7. Collectively these new ventures cost hundreds of millions of pounds out of a total BBC budget of £4.6 billion.
On the BBC website, Mr Thompson said it was important to make sure that the "many millions of pages that are up there need to be there". "Is it sufficiently up to date, is it relevant?" he asked.
"It might be a slightly smaller website. It might be stronger, making sure we are playing to our strengths," he added.